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Meet the WritersImage of Scott Turow
Scott Turow
In addition to writing cinematic legal thrillers like Presumed Innocent (1987), Reversible Errors (2002), and Limitations (2006), lawyer Scott Turow has also drawn upon his personal and professional experience for thought-provoking nonfiction that includes One L (1977), an account of his freshman year at Harvard Law, and Ultimate Punishment (2003), a reflection on capital punishment. His essays and op-ed pieces have appeared in the Washington Post, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and other distinguished publications. In 2005, he forayed into historical fiction with Ordinary Heroes, an emotionally resonant novel inspired by his father's experiences in World War II. A practicing attorney with experience in both civil and criminal law, Turow has become involved in extensive pro bono work on death penalty cases.

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Good to Know
Turow rarely writes his novels in a linear fashion from beginning to end. Instead, he sketches out individual scenes and then figures out where they fit into the grand scheme of a story.

Turow may be a bestselling author who has sold roughly 25 million books worldwide, but this crusading attorney has yet to give up his day job!

Don't let that "F" on your report card deter you from a writing career; just look at Turow, who flunked freshman English in high school, but whose shelves are currently lined with literary awards.

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Scott Turow answered some of our questions in the fall of 2002:

What was the work that most influenced your life?
Probably A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, because it first showed me that power of fiction to uplift and articulate what I took as wild and private dreams.

What are some of your favorite books, and what makes them special to you?

  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, as explained above.

  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, because of the powerful and intimate rendition of these webbed lives.

  • John Updike's Rabbit novels, because of their acute observation and moral courage.

  • Saul Bellow's Herzog, for its extraordinary language, intellectual power and its observations of Chicago.

  • Tillie Olsen's Tell Me A Riddle, for its inventiveness and power.

  • Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo, for its spectacular plot.

  • The works of Shakespeare, for their miraculous language and extraordinary observations about humanity.

  • William Faulkner's "The Bear," for telling the quintessential American story from inside the American mind.

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night, an extremely contemporary book that anticipated much of our current preoccupation about gender.

  • Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man, for its elegance and perfect mystery.

    What about some of your favorite films?
    Unforgiven, the Godfather films, Bonnie and Clyde, and The Usual Suspects.

    What types of music do you like?
    Still the Beatles.

    Who are some of your favorite writers?
    Among contemporaries, I love too many to name: Joyce Carol Oates, Cormac McCarthy, and Robert Stone are just a few.

    What else would you like your readers to know?
    Nothing more than that I am eternally grateful for their interest.

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  • About the Writer
    *Scott Turow Home
    * Biography
    * Good to Know
    * Interview
    In Our Other Stores
    *Scott Turow Movies
    * Signed, First Editions by Scott Turow
    *One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School, 1977
    *Presumed Innocent, 1987
    *Burden of Proof, 1990
    *Pleading Guilty, 1993
    *Laws of Our Fathers, 1996
    *Personal Injuries, 1999
    *Reversible Errors, 2002
    *Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer's Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty, 2003
    *Ordinary Heroes, 2005
    *Limitations, 2006
    Photo by Greg Martin